Over a million public sector workers are expected to join strikes across the UK today in a series of disputes with the government over pay, pensions, and “austerity” cuts.
Teachers, firefighters, librarians, and council staff from a number of trade unions are amongst those joining the industrial action. The unions involved include RMT, FBU, PCS, Unite, Unison, NUT, and GMB.
A spokesman for the cabinet office said a relatively low ballot turnout meant that the “vast majority” of workers did not vote for the strike action, but unions contend that those that did vote to strike was a higher percentage of their members than the Tories received for their “mandate” to govern as a coalition.
The most common grievance between those on strike is the government’s the real-terms loss in income public sector workers have felt since the government froze public sector wages in 2010, followed by a 1% pay rise cap in 2012, when overall inflation since 2010 amounts to over 13%.
Meanwhile, MPs are set to get a rise of £7,600 to £74,000 in 2015, and Nigel Farage has called for ministers to be paid as much as £100,000.
Picket lines are expected to be setup outside fire stations, council offices, and the Houses of Parliament.
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) July 10, 2014
— ITV News (@itvnews) July 10, 2014
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) July 10, 2014
— SouthWestFBU (@SouthWestFBU) July 10, 2014
Public Services Strike – crowds gathering at the Pier Head ready to march. Great turnout. pic.twitter.com/bL0eQlcFb3
— GMB NW & I (@unionpeople) July 10, 2014
— Carl Roper (@RoperCarl) July 10, 2014
— Emma Ann Hardy (@emmaannhardy) July 10, 2014
— NUT Cymru (@NUTCymru) July 10, 2014
— RT (@RT_com) July 10, 2014
— Ricky Knight (@greenknight49) July 10, 2014